Restoration at the Laguna de Santa Rosa
by Elias Lopez
On November 6th our class visited the Laguna de Santa Rosa. We were welcomed by Brent Reed, the Restoration Projects Supervisor of the Laguna De Santa Rosa Foundation, and he introduced to us Aaron Nuñez, the Restoration Technician and Sonoma State Alumni. The Laguna is one of the largest freshwater complex on the northern Californian coast and is rich in wildlife.
The Work Day
Our work site was in the Middle Reach area near the Chevron gasoline station off of Highway 12. Two years ago this site was part of a massive planting project; oaks, coyote bush, wild roses along with other native plant species were transplanted in hopes to recreate a wetland forest. This site is now a nonactive site, meaning there will be no more restoration work done to it. This is were we come to play. Since it is nonactive, our job was to remove as much as man made materials from the planting sites as possible. These materials included flags, stakes, metal screens, milk cartons, and weed mats. The materials were sorted so materials can be reused or recycled. These materials were first installed to prevent competition with other plants, mostly invasive species.
Further Projects and Internship Opportunities
After our work day we enjoyed walked around the Laguna. Brent pointed out other projects and areas that were heavily invaded by poison hemlock, Himalayan Blackberry and pepper weed. He expressed interest in doing an experiment on management techniques to remove pepper weed. Another project he mentioned was removal of invasive species and transplanting on a creek on the other side of Highway 12. After the day was over he thanked us for all our work and encouraged us to get involved in the Laguna Keeper days, which are community based volunteer work day. He also offered us an opportunity to become an intern. This offer was really appealing because interns may possibly get hired by the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Aaron was hired this way. I hope to continue my involvement there to learn more about restoration practices.